When companies consider data as a PR tool, many think conducting a robust survey is the only way. While surveys are great for targeting specific audiences and to investigate particular trends, they can be a substantial line item in a modest marketing budget and require significant internal resources to get off the ground.
Proprietary data is another option companies can leverage for media outreach. Proprietary data is the information companies already have on hand that can help them showcase their capabilities and garner media coverage. For example, Zillow publishes market overviews that take advantage of the data they already have available through their business model and operation of their platform. These reports showcase the insights their technology can generate.
Proprietary data is powerful because only your company has access to it, so insights drawn from it are inherently unique. Because it’s already on hand, there’s also no additional investment required to collect this data. That said, engineers don’t necessarily design their platforms for the purposes of data collection for the media. As a result, it can sometimes be challenging to pull standardized proprietary data that supports the story your brand wants to tell. This data can also be limited by the scope of a company’s platform.
While there can be challenges, crafting a story from proprietary data remains an excellent PR tool. The use of data in media relations is becoming more common so it’s important that data is positioned correctly to the media and provides real value to journalists to stand out.
There are four key steps in generating media coverage that leverages proprietary data:
- Construct your ideal headline. In a perfect world, what would you like to see written about your company? Beginning the process with the end result in mind makes it easier to sift through data to uncover relevant insights that can tell that story.
- Identify major industry trends. Once you’ve identified the major conversations in your industry, you can evaluate where your company’s data can support reporting on these trends and provide a new perspective or additional context.
- Pull data from your platform. The data you analyze needs to be conveyed in a way that is easy for a more general audience to understand. A reporter and their readership may not be as familiar with specific metrics as members of your company. A great way to make data more comprehensible is to present it visually, so graphs and other visualizations can be useful tools. Finally, it’s also important to clearly lay out the methodology of the data collection.
- Identify relevant reporters and determine outreach strategy. Once you’ve built a story supported by your data, identify media contacts who would find these insights interesting and relevant to their reporting and determine your plan for outreach. Are you going to pitch your data as an exclusive to individual target reporters, under embargo to a wider range of reporters, or share it widely when you publish the findings? The right approach depends largely on how much time you have to work with, and in what stories your data can fit. For instance, consider a fintech platform with data on investment activity following Elon Musk’s Twitter announcement of his intention to take Tesla private. It was a hot and quickly developing story. That fintech company’s PR team would want to pitch that data widely and as soon as possible. On the other hand, a martech company releasing long-term performance data of click-to-call ads could pre-pitch that data leading up to an industry conference.
Leveraging proprietary data for media outreach highlights the value of your platform to potential customers and demonstrates the power of the insights it can provide. It also demonstrates your company’s industry expertise to the media and is thus a valuable PR tool.
Because leveraging proprietary data can be so powerful, abiding by the best practices above can help companies cut through the noise and get the most out of this type of outreach. However, we know this is no small feat. My team are experts at running successful data-driven PR campaigns for companies like LiveStories and G2 Crowd and we’d be happy to help. Reach us by filling out this form or calling us at 206-480-1478.